It has been announced that within the next few months the amount of health & safety regulation will be cut.

This follows the findings of the Löfsted report and a desire to simplify  the regulation in the the sector.


There are plans to help those who are self-employed to avoid some of the more obstructing regulations especially where their work is inherently of a low-risk nature in the first place. This is hoped to be in place by 2013. The minister for employment, Chris Grayling had asked Professor Löfsted,  at King's College London, to conduct the review in order to identify opportunities to simplify health and safety rules. The reforms are seen as a way of getting back to a common sense approach and a moving away from the over regulated sphere some see it now to be.

Some of the regulations currently in place are a direct result of the need to ensure that the country is in line with EU legislation imposed by Directives. The review has attempted to highlight the areas where our legislation has gone over and above the requirements of EU law. There is a desire to get rid of over-compliance with laws which is what has led to people feeling we have lost common sense in the area.

The move in direction has been welcomed by those who are aware of the sometimes very negative affect such stringent and often over-bearing legislation has had on smaller businesses who cripple themselves to comply.  Brendan Barber of TUC has opposing views however, believing that the government needs to stop thinking it has red tape to cut through and instead focus on helping to improve matters in the area. The changes he believes would only have the effect of ensuring no lives are saved that could be and that the thousands of people who's illnesses are exacerbated by work will continue to suffer.

It is a difficult task for the government who wish to cut regulation which they believe is costly and time consuming to the point of not helping the flagging economy. Yet on the other hand, where regulation is needed there is either little or what exists is insufficient. A balance must be reached but as ever it is difficult to keep all stake holders happy.  Mr Barber feels that the government has placed its emphasis and the point of the investigation by Professor Löfsedt on the need to cut costs and aid businesses rather than protecting those who actually work for them.

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